I’m That Cyclist

Nearly four years of bike commuting have had a strange effect on me: I’ve become one of Those Cyclists. I have a chip on my shoulder so big it could feed a family of four.

This is strangely out-of-character for me. I’m not typically, in my day-to-day life, an aggressive person. If anything I have a tendency to be too polite, too nice, too sensitive. I usually apologize when someone bumps into me at the grocery store, as if it was my fault for being in their way. I’ve always been, in other words, the quiet type.

Yet, these days I routinely yell at drivers from my bike. I occasionally even, though I am not proud of this, resort to what is colloquially known as “the finger”.

I’ve joked that it’s inevitable, if you commute by bike for any length of time, to develop a certain attitude. You come to hate and mistrust cars. You start to wistfully think about what the world would be like if we could eliminate the private automobile entirely. You find yourself totting up the pros and cons of, say, moving to Amsterdam.

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